Parlor Tricks

The magic doctor, Ricardo Rosenkranz

Last chance to catch Dr. Ricardo Rosenkranz’s popular magic show, The Rosenkranz Mysteries: Physician Magician, whose run at the Royal George Theater ends this Memorial Day weekend…unless it’s extended for a second time since it opened back in March at the cabaret, located at 1641 North Halsted Street.

(Editor’s Note: The show has been extended through Sunday, June 17.)

A different kind of outing than your typical dinner-and-a-show, the legendary magician Teller of Penn & Teller calls this two-hour production “a cozy evening with your jovial doctor – who just happens to command some of the rarest and most beautiful illusions in the world.”

I don’t know about all that, but it’s a pretty cool show with 12 different tricks/illusions and a 15-minute intermission. Some of the bits are truly mysterious; a couple of the “oh brother, roll-your-eyes” variety, but overall, the whole thing is entertaining and pretty impressive.

Much like you’d expect from a guy whose day job is medicine and apparently lucrative enough to allow him extensive time to dabble in magic.

The Doctor consults with his assistant, Balsamo

Rosenkranz is an award-winning and respected faculty member at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He has been fascinated by magic since a young age and has long been incorporating his illusions into his teaching as a way to help engage students and encourage participation.

After winning several teaching awards and traveling the country to deliver seminars, Rosenkranz decided to bring his act to the stage in Chicago in November of 2016.

That show sold out and was a big hit. Buoyed by that success and prior to returning for this follow-up show this spring at Royal George Theater, Dr. Rosenkranz performed for Penn & Teller’s Fool Us showcase in Las Vegas, and also completed a successful run at the famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. In addition, he headlined at the prestigious Magic Circle in London and was honored by the Magic Circle by being named Associate of the Inner Magic Circle with a Silver Star.

This piece, called “Thirst”, really is one of the more astounding illusions.

It’s obvious that Rosenkranz has worked very hard at his craft and each of his illusions has been meticulously researched, created, and staged by The Doctor along with some of the nation’s most elite and respected magicians.

One of the best tricks is how he suddenly appears onstage at the very beginning of the show, on a set designed to be a quaint, darkly-lit parlor lined with shelves full of books and assorted knickknacks, in front of a captivate audience seated in an intimate, cabaret style setting.

Sleight-of-hand and card tricks.

Magician Teller also calls the production an “elegant soiree, a fireside chat entwined with brain-busting mysteries, conjured by a physician/magician who sees the world through the double lens of medicine and magic.”

That’s because Rosenkranz sprinkles his evening of theatrical magic with thought provoking ideas about his profession. He says, “There is something beautiful and wonderful about the unknown, and I think in that sense, magic and medicine share a DNA. I am committed to creating a unique experience that energizes and uplifts every audience member.”

In the dark, waiting for spirits to come.

The Rosenkranz Mysteries: Physician Magician runs through this weekend May 27. The production is intended for ages 12 and older. Tables in the cabaret space seat four guests (at $75 per person). Regular tickets are $50 (with senior and student discounts available).

The remaining performance schedule is: this Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and with the final show Sunday at 2 p.m.

To purchase tickets or for additional information, visit, or call the box office at 312/988-9000.

David Smallwood

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